Change Definition of Privacy: Government Official

The Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Dr. Donald Kerr, thinks, "Too often, privacy has been equated with anonymity; and itâ''s an idea that is deeply rooted in American culture."

That's apparently no longer a valid or reasonable idea. "In our interconnected and wireless world, anonymity â'' or the appearance of anonymity â'' is quickly becoming a thing of the past. ... Protecting anonymity isnâ''t a fight that can be won."

In addition, "We need to move beyond the construct that equates anonymity with privacy and focus more on how we can protect essential privacy in this interconnected environment...Instead, privacy, I would offer, is a system of laws, rules, and customs with an infrastructure of Inspectors General, oversight committees, and privacy boards on which our intelligence community commitment is based and measured."

So privacy means faith in government bureaucracy.

Except, of course, when these privacy laws, rules and customs get in the way of safety. Then privacy must give way.

But not to worry for, "Our commitment to safety and privacy are nothing new to us and they are values that we must continue to protect as we learn to do our intelligence job better."

In other words, the intelligence community is committed to protecting us and our way of life - which just needs to change to make it easier for them to get information on us to protect us from - us?

Sounds logical to me.

More on this can be read here.


Risk Factor

IEEE Spectrum's risk analysis blog, featuring daily news, updates and analysis on computing and IT projects, software and systems failures, successes and innovations, security threats, and more.

Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City